Publishing with Wordpress iPhone App

Wordpress for iOS iPhone and iPad Screenshot

Writing and blogging via the WordPress App for iPhone (iOS) and iPad has evolved tremendously.

Saying that the early versions of this app were "clunky" would be a nice way of putting it. I would argue that using the WordPress iPhone App to publish or author content was a nightmare.

I, like many urban lifestylers, spend a good part of my day on some form of public transportation.  That used to be a time that I would spend writing blog content on my old Blackberry.  I would at least have time to get a good post started or nearly completed.  Often, I could have an entire post done by the time I got to work.

The dark ages.

At the time, I was using a post-by-email plugin that allowed me to email posts to a secret email account.  Any email sent to that address would automatically be converted to a blog post.

The email subject line became the post subject line, etc.

It worked well enough but the formatting was always a little wonky.  There was no way to insert links or other basic HTML markup.  At the time, there was no such thing as a Blackberry with a camera in it.  That meant no embedded photos in my mobile posts either.

Eventually, Wordpress made post-by-email part of the core platform.  During that change over, formatting continued to get even more difficult to manage.  Also, if you changed devices from one phone to whatever was next, there was a good chance that there would be some extra markup in the email that would cause formatting to be a disaster.

Fast forward a few years to the debut of the iPhone.  I immediately could not wait.  Once I saw the potential of apps on this device, I knew that the Wordpress community would build a Wordpress CMS App for iPhone.

And they did.

Sadly, it sucked.

The first few times I attempted to use the iOS app, I was very disappointed.  Publishing, including links, adding images, tags, content categories, etc. were all difficult to manage or completely impossible.  

Time to suck less.

Fastforward one more time to today, and I think they've finally figured it out.  I hope that the project continues to evolve (there's lots of work left to do).

Once I had honed my iPhone typing skills, I was exited to at least us my commute time to write the plain text copy.  I suppose I could have used any other notepad app or even an email to accomplish the same thing. But there was something about the promise of being able to do it from right within the Wordpress "platform" that was appealing, if only in concept.

Until more recently, the app did not perform well if there was not a strong 3G or WiFi connection.  First it seemed that the app wanted to sync all of my old posts down to the handheld client.  That took forever.

The app also failed me a few times when I went to save a post without a good wireless signal.  The app did not really know what to do if it wasnt able to communicate with the cloud.  The app crashed a few times on me, and my post was gone.

Today, pretty much all of my major concerns have been solved.  The app works great if you are in some sort of "offline" mode.  The post content will simply save locally until it can be pushed up to your server.  Now I can continue to work while on the train, underground.

There's also basic HTML formatting available including Bold, Italics, etc.

The most convenient factor is the overhauled photo publishing feature.  You can finally take a raw iPhone image and embed it appropriately into your content right from your phone.  The app will upload the photo to the cloud where it will get crunched and resized.

Complete post via iPhone app.

This entire post was written on the Wordpress App for iPhone.

I find myself publishing directly from the app about half the time.  The other half, I end up saving as a draft and simply giving it a little final polish later on, once I am able to get in front of my laptop.

However, by then, the hard part is done.  Just do some last edits, maybe add a couple of links, and hit publish.

If you've got a 20+ minute public transit commute, you have no excuse (nor do I) for not having enough time in your day to write your blog.